Creative Leadership

"Your Texts are Not Private" – Supreme Court

On this blog I’ve often talked about how careful you need to be with email.  No matter who you’re sending an email to, once you hit “send” it’s out of your hands.  The recipient who you think is your friend now, might not be in a few months or years and they have the email.  Plus, emails written in accounts like Google mail, or company accounts make those emails open to Big Brother type scrutiny.

Now, the Supreme Court has followed up with the same standard regarding text messages.  In 9-0 ruling last week, they decided that an employer could monitor text messages if they felt it had an impact on the workplace (and that’s a wide berth).

Bottom line?  Don’t put anything in a text message that you wouldn’t want to world to see….

Any other texting advice you’d like to share?

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4 Comments

  1. In fairness,Phil, weren’t the email/text rulings in the context of employer owned or provided equipment and email systems. I think you can still rant, or flirt, to your heart’s content on personal phones and on email systems that you, not your employer, pay for. Of course criminal activity, threats, harassment, etc are another matter, but I believe the court is actually saying employers have some control over how their assets are utilised…

  2. Yes – that’s what I mentioned in the post.  However, Google has stated they never delete emails, and we can expect mobile companies will have the same policy with text messages.  Plus, the government can use your texts in court in the same way Police can use your cell phone to locate you for investigative purposes.  Nothing’s private anymore…   🙂

  3. Is it really realistic to expect emails to be “private” in 2010? In an age of satellites and CCTV what really constitutes privacy anymore? When you add to this the fact that everything that goes onto a harddrive stays on the harddrive years after you press the “delete” button and you begin to get the picture that privacy is not really that anymore.

    Still who wants privacy? The millions of people willing to place very personal and detail information on the plethora of “social” internet sites suggests that the world, particlarly the young, seems to have given up on the very idea of privacy.

    Now I know what so many businessmen golf. The golf course may soon be the only place left where one can conduct business in privacy. How do you bug a golf course?

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